A fundraising gala for popular singer Nick Knowlton, who was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer, will take place on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. at the Ramada Inn of Lewiston, where Knowlton performed for many years as a DJ and with various bands. “Banding Together for Nick” will bring together many of the talented friends Knowlton has made across the country over his five-decade career to pay tribute to the local music legend and help raise money for his hospital and medical expenses.
Bette Sanborn has known Knowlton since the late 1980, when she sang in local bands, including the popular Good & Plenty, at the Ramada, where Knowlton also worked with many groups. In 1996, the two created “The Nick & Bette Show,” from which developed a long-lasting bond and friendship. Sanborn, who continues to guide hospitality and entertainment offerings at the Ramada today as its Dining Room Manager, is looking forward to “a big, big event.”
“With Nick being such a champion for causes he strongly believes in, this is going to be an outpouring of support from musicians and friends who want to give back after all he’s done for so many in the community,” said Sanborn.
Ed Boucher, who managed Knowlton’s early bands and whose EAB Recording productions catapulted the local singer to regional and national status, sees the event as a way to help a friend who is known for helping others in his own time of need. In the process, the event will provide an opportunity for generations of loyal music fans who have helped shape the L-A music scene to reconnect with and share memories of the great bands they followed and Knowlton fronted, including Terry & The Telstars, White Fluff, Poorboy, Katahdin, and Katfish.
“Expect the unexpected,” Boucher says. “When old friends throw a celebration like this, magic happens, memories are made, and it shows that when we band together, we can make a difference. It’s going to be a great time.”
Boucher is advising folks to get their tickets early because he predicts a sellout event. “Nick knows everyone and everyone knows Nick,” he explains.
A star-studded parade of musicians and singers who have contributed to L-A’s historically rich music scene since the 1960s will join the many friends, family and fans expected to attend. Among the bands scheduled to perform are Terry & the Telstars, with their original line-up of Knowlton on vocals, Danny Caron on drums, Pete Nadeau on keyboards, and Terry McCarthy on guitar. Caron, who will fly up from Wilmington, NC, is looking forward to the reunion. The last time the band got back together for a PAL HOP Reunion in 2010, he says, they enjoyed it so much they continued performing for several more events.
Other bands scheduled to play include Denny Breau & Friends, the Girls of L-A and Good ‘N Plenty. Guest musicians and singers expected to perform include Billy Belskis, Roger Blais, Ed Boucher, Ron Bouffard, Danny Caron, Frank Coffin, Danny DiBiase, Bonnie Edwards, Bob Elie, Kathy Haley, Shawna Haley, Malinda Liberte, Jeannie Martin, Moe McKenna, Arthur Melendy, Debbie Morin, Paul Murphy, Pete Nadeau, Louis Philippe, Bette Sanborn, Laurie Sidelinger, Mike Willette, and Jeff Wright. Long-time Central Maine radio personalities Bill “BC” Cloutier and Dave Dean will emcee.
Tickets are $15 and available by calling the Androscoggin Colisée box office at 783-2009 or online at
Shortly after Knowlton’s diagnosis last December, an online fundraising effort was launched to help with the financial burdens associated with his illness. As of this writing, almost half of the $50,000 goal has been reached. To make a contribution, visit gofundme.com/nickknowlton.